tangatawhenuacoverbwbwebsite-1Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History, by Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney and Aroha Harris, charts the sweep of Māori history from ancient origins through to the twenty-first century. It offers a striking overview of the past and, in the words of Sir Tipene O’Regan, is ‘one of the most significant books on the Māori world ever written’.

James Belich describes Tangata Whenua as ‘visually stunning’ and believes it ‘will inform public debate for years to come’.  In naming the book the winner of the Royal Society 2015 Science Prize, the judges declared it a ‘dazzling work of scholarship’.    It also was Gold winner at the Pride in Print Awards 2015, and was selected by the New Zealand Listener as one of the best books of 2014 – ‘Years in the making and containing 500 images, this is a majestic charting of Māori history from beginnings to present day.’

We’re fortunate then, that Bridget Williams Books is offering the book to the Friends of Te Papa at a special price of $85.00 (15% off the recommended retail price). This offer is available until the end of July through the Te Papa Store.

Te Papa made a significant contribution to this remarkable book, contributing many of the images that appear throughout its pages. The museum’s collections are magnificently showcased, with assistance from the curatorial team and Te Papa researchers. Emeritus Professor Anderson and Aroha Harris are both Research Associates at Te Papa, Dame Judith Binney was a member of the Te Papa Board, and all three authors have drawn on Te Papa collections for many years in their research.

Its fifteen chapters bring together scholarship in history, archaeology, traditional narratives and oral sources. A parallel commentary is offered through more than 800 images – from elegant shapes of ancient taonga and artefacts, through impressions of Māori in the sketchbooks and paintings of early European observers, to the shifting focus of the photographer’s lens and the response of contemporary Māori artists to all that has gone before.

You can read more about the background to the book, on its website here.

Feature Image: Detail from Photo: Alfred Burton, 1885.  Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, O.030696
(Te Keepa Te Rangihiwinui was the guide for Alfred Burton’s expedition up the Whanganui River; here members of the expedition pose in a canoe at Rānana (London), 1885.)